Cotton Insect Losses - 2008

Michael R. Williams
Entomology and Plant Pathology Department
Mississippi State University Extension Service
Mississippi State University, Mississippi


Cotton losses to arthropod pests reduced overall yields by 3.80%.These losses reflect another low estimate, reflecting a trend which began in 2000 Lygus Lygus (1.003%)attained top ranking for the first time since rankings began in 1979.They were the only pest to exceed 1% loss. The bollworm/budworm complex (0.764%) were ranked second Stink bugs were 3rd at 0.747%; thrips Thrips were 4th at 0.516%, and cotton fleahoppers were 5th at 0.231%. Total cost and loss for insects in 2008 were $ 543 million Direct management costs for arthropods were $55.53 per acre.

Key To Tables

Table 1 -- USDA /NASS yield estimates
Table 1a -- USDA/NASS planted & harvested acres
Table 2 -- At planting insecticide applications
Table 3 -- Cotton insect eradication costs
Table 4 -- Bt cotton costs by state
Table 5 -- Cotton insect monitoring costs
Table 6 -- Summary of All States
Table 7 -- Alabama Summary
Table 7a -- North Alabama
Table 7b -- Central Alabama
Table 7c -- South Alabama
Table 8 -- Arizona
Table 8a -- Arizona Bt
Table 8b -- Arizona NonBt
Table 9 -- Arkansas Summary
Table 9a -- Northeast Arkansas
Table 9b -- Southeast Arkansas Varieties
Table 10 -- California Summary
Table 11 -- Florida
Table 12 -- Georgia
Table 13 -- Kansas
Table 14 -- Louisiana
Table 15 -- Mississippi Summary
Table 15a -- Mississippi Delta
Table 15b -- Mississippi Hills
Table 16 -- Missouri
Table 17 -- New Mexico
Table 18 -- North Carolina
Table 19 -- Oklahoma Summary
Table 20 -- South Carolina
Table 21 -- Tennessee
Table 22 -- Texas Summary
Table 22a -- GC, WG & LRGV
Table 22b -- Texas Panhandle
Table 22c -- Texas North Rolling Plain
Table 22d -- Texas High Plain
Table 22e -- Texas North Blackland
Table 22f -- Texas South Rolling Plain
Table 22g -- Texas South Blackland
Table 22h -- Texas Far West
Table 23 --Virginia

Explanation of Tables

This information was provided by state coordinators and was collected from surveys of county agents, extension specialists, private consultants and research entomologists. All data are averaged over a total reporting unit. For example, if a unit report represents 100 acres had an 8% loss on 25 of those acres, then in the table summary this shows up as a 2% loss ((.08 x 25)/100). This type of averaging is used for all data reported, including yields and costs of control. Because of averaging and rounding some individual state summary numbers listed as '0' are slightly larger. Costs are averaged to the nearest cent, bales and acres to the nearest whole number, other numbers are rounded to the nearest .001. Bales are calculated at 480 pounds, and a cost of $0.65 per pound of lint is used in figuring costs.


In an attempt at capturing as many of the costs of insect management as possible, the Cotton Insect Losses estimates have changed in the last few years. They were begun as a simple attempt to arrive at the 'average cost of spraying insecticide' for control of cotton arthropod pests We still attempt to arrive at the most accurate estimate possible for spray activities, but have also added some of the other costs which are incurred in cotton insect pest management. These 'additional' costs increase the bottom line of expenditures for arthropod pest management - but also more accurately reflect true expenditures. We include 'at planting insecticide costs,' (an estimate of the cost of systemic insecticides applied at planting for control of Thrips and other pests of seedling cotton); 'Bt cotton costs,' (an estimate of the technology fee and the seed surcharge); 'eradication costs' (which include the maintenance fee in those states which have eradicated the weevil and other eradication projects); and 'scouting costs;' in addition to the traditional 'foliar insecticide costs.' Bales lost are also given a dollar value using 480 pound bales at $0.65 per pound. Remember, these are estimates and may not totally reflect an individual farm or area, but they do reflect trends and serve as a general comparison.

State Coordinators

Alabama --- Dr. Ronald H. Smith
Arkansas --- Dr. Gus Lorenz
Arizona --- Dr. Peter Ellsworth
California --- Dr. Peter Goodell
Florida --- Dr. R. K. Sprenkel
Georgia --- Dr. Phillip Roberts
Kansas --- Dr. Stuart Duncan
Louisiana --- Dr. Ralph Bagwell
Mississippi --- Dr. Angus Catchot
Missouri --- Dr. Michael Milam
New Mexico --- Dr. Jane Pierce
North Carolina --- Dr. Jack Bacheler
Oklahoma --- Dr. Jerry Goodson
South Carolina --- Dr. Jeremy Green
Tennessee --- Dr. Scott Stewart
Texas --- Dr. Chris Sansone
Virginia --- Dr. Ames Herbert

This work is sponsored by the Cotton Foundation and is accomplished only through the diligent effort of the aforementioned coordinators, Dr. Frank Carter, Dr. John Adamczyk and Dr. Gus Lorenz